Scorpius Abraxus Malfoy was born at two in the morning, a time which his father quickly decided was the most inconvenient hour ever invented.
The first thing the newborn Scorpius did upon being placed in his father's arms was bite him. Surprisingly hard for someone with no teeth and barely half an hour's worth of motor skills. Draco nearly dropped his son on his head, and also nearly decided that this having kids thing had been a horrible idea, just like he'd feared.
The second thing Scorpius did upon meeting his father was grin. This shocked the healers on duty, who had never seen an infant with any kind of grin, much less one quite as large and shit-eating as Scorpius's. As Draco nursed his sore finger, however, he thought this might be okay after all, as long as the biting thing stopped.
The biting thing didn't stop.
Neither did the grinning, which made Scorpius something of an anomaly at Malfoy Manor. The last person who had grinned on a regular basis there had been Draco's great uncle Orion, who had finally been committed at the age of seventy. But they didn't mention him often.
The grinning, though, wasn't the reason Scorpius had no real friends for many of his formative years. Parents just stopped sending their children to play after the third or fourth playdate that ended in a missing chunk of child.
The tentative solution to this problem came at Scorpius's fourth birthday party. Bored because all the neighbor kids who had been invited were hiding from him, Scorpius wandered away from the cake and presents and into the yard. His father had told him to leave the albino peacocks alone, because they might hurt him, but Scorpius never listened to his father anyway so he went ahead and toddled right up the the small bird he found. The bird was pure white and fairly scrawny and clearly very young, so Scorpius looked him intently in the eyes and then bit him.
This was usually the point where the person Scorpius had bitten jumped up and starting shrieking, thus proving themselves supremely boring. The bird did neither; it just bit Scorpius back. Scorpius giggled wildly at the tiny peacock latched onto his nose. Then he wrapped his arms around the bird's neck, hugged it a little too tightly, and named it Ferdinand.
Ferdinand let go of Scorpius's nose and started nibbling happily on his ear.
After that Scorpius didn't mind so much that all the neighbor kids wouldn't let him chew on them, because Ferdinand always would and Ferdinand had prettier feathers than those kids anyway.
Scorpius was seven when he and Ferdinand decided to be superheroes. Actually, it was Ferdinand's idea. He came marching up to Scorpius one day with a muggle comic book clutched in his beak, and Scorpius decided this was a very good idea. He knew it was a muggle comic book because the people in it were all very impressed by the ability to get little old ladies down from tall buildings.
Recently, Scorpius had discovered that if he concentrated hard, he could float things down from high shelves, and if he concentrated really hard he could even make them come down sort of gently and not upside down.
The hero of the comic book looked quite dashing in his cape and tights, and with magic on his side, the whole saving things from tall stuff business would be a piece of cake.
After the third time Mrs. Smitty from next door came over to complain about Scorpius manhandling her precious Snookums, Draco finally sat his son down and forbid him from levitating cats from anywhere, no matter how much imminent danger they were in.
"Scorpius, Mrs. Smitty's cat does not need rescuing," Draco told him. "Especially by you."
"Well, that hardly seems fair," Scorpius said and crossed his arms defiantly. "I am fighting for truth and justice and other such things."
"I didn't know justice involved dropping Mrs. Smitty's cat on its head. Multiple times." At that point, Draco was starting to worry he had raised himself a little Gryffindor or, god help him, a Hufflepuff. He could feel a panic attack coming on.
"I'm still perfecting my superpowers," Scorpius said. Then his eyes got very wide and Draco had to hurry away before Scorpius cried, else the tights and cat dropping would never stop.
Scorpius did stop trying to rescue cats, luckily for the neighborhood wildlife, but he and Ferdinand kept wearing the capes for another month and a half.
Scorpius was one of the very few children who cried when they received their Hogwarts letters. He wasn't crying about going to school; Scorpius had been looking forward to Hogwarts since he'd been old enough to understand the concept of a magical castle where wands are allowed but parents aren't. No, what caused Scorpius to break into copious, unstoppable tears was one line on the required equipment list.
"Students may bring an owl or cat or toad."
Scorpius looked over at Ferdinand, who was pecking hopefully at the Hogwarts owl that had delivered the letter, then started to sob more furiously.
Scorpius's first thought was that his father would solve this problem. Surely a man who commanded enough respect that he could get Scorpius to clean his room (even under the bed!) could get Hogwarts to bend one silly rule.
Draco, however, was still vaguely terrified that he'd fathered a Hufflepuff, so his response was that "a proper Slytherin would find a way around this problem."
Scorpius teared up again, but Draco hurried off and Scorpius was left to storm up to his room and not come down for the next two meals.
By dinner the next night, though, Scorpius had forgotten about hating his father forever. This was because he had thought of the most clever plan ever devised, one worthy of Salazar Slytherin himself. Scorpius let Ferdinand hop onto his shoulder and chew on his ear as he went down to the dining room, smiling over his own natural cunning.